Since I came to Britain in 1986, I have always known that the newspaper "The Sun" was a great national newspaper. As a sexually repressed young American, I first thought the idea of a topless woman wearing just her panties on page 3 was something of great amusement. However, my left wing leaning soon took over and I found myself sympathising with the printers who were put out of work by Mr. Murdoch and slightly agreeing with some ladies who claimed that Page 3 treated women like cattle. Nowadays, I'm more of a realist and see the grey in a lot of things.
However, through all of this, there is one thing I have always suspected of this great national newspaper and I am finally going to put it here. As a long time metal head who has been listening to heavy metal music forever, I believe that The Sun is anti heavy metal. My reason is some of the statements that The Sun has made in the past about heavy metal, the artists and the people who listen to it.
First of these was back in 1988 after two people were crushed to death at the Donnington Festival. While The Sun did report on the tradegy, I remember it doing so in a way that metal heads were not shown in a positive light. The paper seemed to focus on the concert past time of throwing plastic bottles around the audience and gave the impression that this may have caused the tragedy. After all, the concert was attended by a bunch of greasy rockers. I can't help myself in believing that had it been Wham! or Madonna or one hit wonder Glen Madeiros, The Sun would have made it more of a case for mourning.
My other two facts are based on more recent events. The first was a few years ago when the great Wembley Stadium was rebuilt. At the intended finish of the new stadium, the first event was going to be a concert by Bon Jovi. When it wasn't going to be finished in time, The Sun commented that, "At least we're spared the disgrace of Wembley being opened by Bon Jovi." Now there are two reasons The Sun may have said this. First, the fact that it would have been an American act opening a British stadium. However, The Sun seems to love it when British artists like The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and The Who played at the most American of all events, the Super Bowl. Therefore, I feel more inclined to sumise that The Sun's main problem was that Bon Jovi are considered a heavy rock/metal act and we wouldn't want a bunch of metal heads spoiling a great place like Wembley, would we? I suppose The Sun would have preferred drug driving George Michael or the late Michael Jackson to open Wembley.
My next example occurred back in 2009 with the Christmas charts countdown. Everyone was predicting the winner of the X Factor to be the Christmas number one, but it was beaten out by Rage Against the Machine. The Sun did not seemed pleased about this at all. In attempt to prevent Rage Against the Machine becoming number one, The Sun printed some of the more morbid lyrics from the song stating that it was not appropriate for a Christmas song. Maybe true , but I ask myself, had it been more of a mainstream act, would The Sun have been so blatantly opposed to it beating out the X Factor winner to number one.
Another less obvious example is at the end of 2010 when The Sun mentioned all the celebrities who passed away last year. Absent from that list was the great Ronnie James Dio who many in the heavy metal world revere as a hero or even a God. Other British newspapers reported his death and blogs and facebook pages were full of people showing genuine outpourings of grief for RJD. So, why didn't The Sun even mention his passing? Obvious answer, because he is a heavy metal artist.
Being an open minded person, I will give The Sun credit where it's due. They did run an article on Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson when he, a qualified pilot, flew a plane to pick up passengers who were left stranded abroad. My memory is foggy here, but I believe they were stranded due to the sudden collapse of the airline, but Bruce Dickinson was one of the pilots who volunteered to go and get them and The Sun ran a full page article on him for it. Well done!
I have submitted my evidence for all to read and make up their own minds as to whether or not The Sun is anti- heavy metal. I hope that somehow, this blog reaches the attention of the newspaper itself and will answer ramblings here. Let's just see.